Five Fold Today A New Order of the Ages - Never Fear - Progressives Have The Mojo Now - Troublemakers in the Church - The Neoconservative Threat to American Freedom - Water Level Rising - Bush, Mideast Wars and End-Time Prophecy - Which Camp Are You In

August 1, 2007

A New Order of the Ages

by Marianne Williamson

There is a principle in A Course in Miracles stating that it is not up to us what we learn, but only whether we learn through joy or through pain. In a universe that is, quite literally, the ongoing evolutionary impulse to love -- the spiritual process through which Love extends itself throughout space and time -- the individual's only true assignment is to learn to actualize the love within.

Wherever in our thinking we are bound by fear, the universe is invested in teaching us the transformative and freeing power of love. Where we are judgmental, the universe is invested in teaching us the ways of forgiveness. Where we are harsh, the universe is invested in teaching us how to be gentle. Where we are competitive, the universe is invested in teaching us the value of co-operation. Where we are ambitious, the universe is invested in teaching us the ways of inspiration. Where we are irresponsible toward our material resources, the universe is invested in teaching us the art of stewardship. Where we are defensive, the universe is invested in teaching us the power of defenselessness. Where we would attack, the universe is invested in teaching us that we are one with all, and therefore can only attack ourselves.

Where we have lessons to learn, the universe conspires to teach us. At first, the lessons are easy enough, even pleasant to learn. We're given the opportunity to learn, with joy, how to live our lives with more integrity and love.

Yet whatever lesson we refuse to learn, comes round again until we do -- each time appearing in a more sobering form, with more serious implications should we refuse to learn it. We do have free will, but we do not have the freedom to slow down the universe. Our learning fuels the momentum of the universe, which will not be allowed to stop. One way or the other, we will learn what we need to learn … even if we have to learn it through suffering.

I think that is where Western Civilization -- particularly American civilization -- is today. There are lessons we keep refusing to learn, and we are bordering on having to learn them through pain. A nation is simply a collection of individuals, and must follow the same growth imperatives as do any of its members. Just as individuals are forced to grow, and to change where necessary, so is a country. There is ultimately no survival where there is no adaptation to change.

In fact, America is going to change. The only question is whether we will choose to change by embracing wisdom -- repudiating the lies of a dysfunctional, increasingly dangerous worldview of an economic system predicated on the goal of short-term economic gain for the privileged few -- or we will be forced by circumstances to make a quantum leap into our next stage of growth, embracing humanitarian concern as the new organizing principle of human civilization. The only real question at this point is how much suffering will have to occur before we wake up to the lesson before us. We can change now, making the transition fairly peacefully (not that violence does not already rage); or we can refuse to change, thereby inviting a greater intensity of disaster with every day we wait.

In A Course in Miracles, it is written that some people would rather die than change their mind.

Our situation today is similar to that of President DeKlerk of South Africa in 1990. A tipping point had been reached in global awareness; the end of apartheid was an idea whose time had come. DeKlerk could see saw the writing on the wall, reporting to his fellow Afrikaners that the jig was up: South Africa would have to change. The only question before them was whether the transition to the end of apartheid would come with inestimable bloodshed, or with relative peace. White Afrikaners could cling longer to an inequitable system through the sheer force of self-will, or release Nelson Mandela from jail and partner with him to create a new South Africa. DeKlerk was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Mandela for that reason: his courage in saying what had to be said -- that South Africa must move toward a post-apartheid society -- was as important as Mandela's leadership once it got there. What South Africa needed to learn, the universe made sure it was going to learn; the country's only choice was how much pain was going to accompany the learning.

This moment, today, marks the end of a huge chapter in human history, carrying with it -- as does the end of every stage of growth -- the invitation to begin an even greater one. The myriad end-of-the-world scenarios filling the air today emerge from a fear-based ego's inevitable argument that if we do not go its way, then there is no way to go. But in fact, there is. There is another way to live, to be, to think, to behave -- and yes, to organize human civilization; the fact that the mind that manufactured the world we live in now cannot imagine what that would be, is certainly no sign that another way does not exist. The change from who we are right now to who we can and shall be once we have embraced this opportunity for change, represents a quantum leap forward in our spiritual as well as our political, economic, and social development.

There is a sense of interconnectedness -- among peoples and among nations -- that is sweeping the world today. It represents the next great wave of human consciousness, and the United States should be at the forefront of this wave; it should not be bringing up the rear. This wave emerges not from a particular intellectual or geographic region, but from a place in our awareness; an understanding in the brain and a state of wonder in the heart. It posits love not only as the greatest good but as the greatest power as well. If we had seen the amelioration of unnecessary human suffering as our "most vital national interest" over the last fifty years, the world today would be in a radically different and far less dangerous place.

America should not be known by the world simply for its material strength. It should be known for its goodness; for the greatness of its ideals. From Jefferson's genius imbued in the Declaration of Independence to Lincoln's emancipation of the slaves, from Kennedy's establishment of the Peace Corps to Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon, we have throughout our history -- not always to be sure, but often enough that we should not forget it -- pursued ideals that pointed humanity toward its betterment. Should American greatness become frozen in the past, no longer pursued? Should the dreaming of a more perfect state of being be trivialized? Should the effort to establish what our founders called "a new order of the ages" be turned into mere cliché by the cynicism of our new ruling elite?

This country should apologize: to our ancestors, many of whom gave their lives for an ideal of America which we have compromised at best and repudiated at worst; to other nations who have been affected by wrong choices we have made when our hearts and minds were weakened; to God, to each other and in a way to our own grandchildren. Seeing how we have failed the past, perhaps we will rededicate ourselves to the future.

Today, no less than in Lincoln's time, our country can have a "new birth of freedom," deciding anew that "government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth." Yet Lincoln knew well the connection between freedom and economics. He warned, "I see in the future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." More than a decade later, President Rutherford B. Hayes would lament that we had become a government "...of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations." At least he said it. Today, most politicians don't warn us of this situation so much as they promote it and protect it.

We have allowed a new aristocracy to steal a Presidential election, fight an imperialistic war, turn back years of effort at nuclear non-proliferation, nearly destroy America's moral authority in the world, pillage our natural resources -- and thus fall tragically behind the wave of humanity's uprising of consciousness at the dawn of the 21st Century.

Yet still we have everything we need -- probably for the first time in human history -- to create a planet that could work for everyone. There is a new conversation in the world – of sustainability, of deep humanitarianism, of genuine social progress– though you wouldn't know it, listening to most of our government officials today. There is new hope, though you wouldn't know it if you rely only on mainstream media for your news. And there is another way, though you would only know it if you look for it with your heart. Today, there is nothing short of a new possibility for life on earth. And America -- having in so many ways set the stage for the emergence of this possibility -- should now be its most passionate proponent. We should focus the extraordinary genius of this country on something far, far greater than the small-minded ambitions of greedy men. We should harness the extraordinary power of this country in the service of ways to wage peace, not war. And we should rededicate the future of this country not only to our own prosperity but to uplifting the human condition.

Nothing is more American than the audacity to dream big. Having historically dreamed some of humanity's most beautiful dreams, we are called upon now to dream its biggest dream yet. As our founders strove to form "a more perfect union," we can strive to form a more perfect world. That is the lesson inherent in all the challenges that face us now: that the world will change, when we do. When we consciously dedicate ourselves to creating a more loving planet, then that which is not love will fall of its own dead weight.

America will learn this. We will learn it through joy or we will learn through pain. But we will learn.


Marianne Williamson has published nine books. She has done extensive non-profit organizing, having founded both Project Angel Food in Los Angeles as well as The Peace Alliance. A 2007 Newsweek reader´s poll named her one of the 50 most influential baby boomers. Marianne broadcasts a
weekly radio program on The Oprah and Friends Radio, XM 156. The show airs every Tuesday and is repeated on weekends. Her website is

Never Fear

Jim Grayson
My Beloved, I know many of you are going through dark times now, for the times are growing shorter by the day and soon, sooner than you think, we will come to the end of days and all will end and your Lord Christ will reign supreme over all. Your enemy will be ultimately defeated and cast down into the pit for eternity and there will be now more tears for you, for you will live forever in My Presence. I look forward to having all My children with Me, My Family of God, and we will spend many glorious eons together, to no end.

Now, so many of you are afraid…afraid of the times, of those in your life, of your government, of your elected leaders and dictators, of the world and all it‘s terror and deceit. You fear the possibility of loss and of being without your needs. Never fear, oh, you of little faith, for have I not promised to always supply your needs according to My riches in Glory? Rest in that, My Beloved. Rest in that and know I AM with you always and remember My Perfect Love casts out fear, and it is perfect. When you trust in Me, your fear will flee. Try it and you will see it is true. I AM a God of My Word. I always have been and always will be. Behold, I AM GOD and I change not.

Now, turn your eyes from the world to Me and keep them on Me. Lean not to your own understanding but rather, lean on Me, for I AM able to do all things, including holding you when you are weak. I long to be near you. Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you…but you must make the first move for I will never force Myself on you. It´s your decision. You have free will and must make up your own mind.

What will you do, My Beloved? Will you continue to trust in the world system, which is doomed to fail? Or will you simply put all your trust in Me? I know what you will do already, for I AM your Father God. Now, it is for you to decide what you will do. Let Me give you a hint…choose Me and I will make your way glad and your heart sing.

Trust Me, for I can be trusted. My Love for you is deeper than eternity. Trust Me and never fear.

Progressives Have The Mojo Now

Robert Borosage

The Take Back America Conference this year drew 3,000 leaders and activists from 40 states, 150 speakers, a bloggers´ boulevard and radio row larger than ever, and an energy that couldn´t be contained. This year was not only a larger gathering than any previous year; it had a very different spirit.

We witnessed the gathering of a movement that has come into a sense of its own power. Certain that the elections in 2006 mark the end of the conservative era that has dominated our politics for more than 25 years, progressives gathered confident that they were driving the political agenda and that they were on the verge, in fact, of taking back America.

There is both remarkable consensus and passion around a core agenda: ending the occupation of Iraq, affordable health care for all, a concerted drive for clean energy, and an aggressive change in economic policy to make the new global economy work for the many, and not simply the very few. In each of these areas, progressives have put forth detailed plans and are building major issue campaigns.

Progressives do so confident that the American people are moving our way. Three in four Americans want a new direction. Most have given up completely on the Bush administration. They are not neutral about what comes next. On issue after issue, from ending the war to affordable health care to government leadership on clean energy –- broad majorities embrace progressive views. That´s also true on a broad range of divisive social and economic issues. This is not a conservative country.

Those trends in opinion –- led by self-described independents and moderates -– have been moving since 1994. What is different now is that progressives have the mojo to drive the debate. At Take Back America, progressives displayed the increasing capacity, the increasing sophistication and the increasing power of their infrastructure and movement. Progressives, in the words of the famed Yankee philosopher Reggie Jackson, are “the stick that stirs the drink’ in the Democratic Party. The money wing of the party will always have clout, but they are discredited by their support of the debacle in Iraq and their failed and compromised economic strategies.

All of the leading Democratic candidates for president came to the Take Back America Conference, knowing how important the support of the activists and bloggers gathered there can be. All didn´t simply show up, they competed in their embrace of the core agenda laid out above and much more.

There is no longer much profit in “pushing off’ the progressive base. Embrace of progressive positions strengthens these candidates for the general election. And the candidates seem to understand that.

Progressives, however, are not satisfied simply with electing Democratic majorities, or even a Democratic president. They let Democratic leaders clearly know their dismay with the timidity of the current Congress. Progressives are building a movement with independent capacity. They seek an enduring progressive majority, not a transitory majority of cautious Democrats. The old days when New Dems and Blue Dogs could champion the corporate and, often, Republican agenda with impunity are over. Joe Lieberman´s unhinged shroud demonstrates that. There is now an activist movement prepared to hold politicians of both parties accountable.

And some in the mainstream media, like The Washington Post´s E. J. Dionne today, felt the change.

The challenges ahead are formidable. But Take Back America 2007 marked a turn. This is no longer a protest movement. This is a movement on the rise, looking to take power and change the course of this country.

Robert L. Borosage is co-director of Campaign for America´s Future.

Troublemakers in the Church

by David Wilkerson

We need more troublemakers in the church! I pray that every member of the body of Christ would become a troublemaker! We need an army of troublemakers who have become so full of the Holy Ghost they will stir up and trouble New York City and every other city around the world; trouble their wicked institutions -challenge the established dead churches - trouble the leaders, the mayors, the city councils, the community leadership! In other words, we need Holy Ghost troublemakers moving in the Spirit, proclaiming the kingship of Christ so effectively that whole cities are stirred!

Paul and Silas were two the world's biggest troublemakers! The Bible speaks of "men that have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 15:26, NAS). Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy were such men, walking in the power of the Spirit. As seen in Acts 16, when the Holy Ghost forbid them to speak the Word in Asia, they obeyed. When they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit would not permit them, they went instead to Troas, under the Spirit's direction. Paul then had a vision of a man calling them to Macedonia, so they set out immediately to Philippi, the chief city of Macedonia. When they arrived, a fortune teller followed them about, crying, "...These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation" (Acts 16:17). After enduring it for many days, Paul turned and "...said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour" (Acts 16:18). Suddenly the whole city was in an uproar: this fortune teller was apparently a big tourist attraction, but now she was healed and praising the Lord!

Paul had upset the status quo. He had challenged the devil who had been having his way for years. The slave-owners of the delivered woman then dragged Paul and Silas into the market-place to stand trial before the city magistrates. The charge was, "...These men... do exceedingly trouble our city" (Acts 16:20). "And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks" (Acts 16:22-24). It looked as though Satan had won. The new converts must have been stunned! But all the power of God is with Holy Ghost troublemakers! "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God... and suddenly there was a great earth-quake, so that the foundations of the prison was shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed" (Acts 16:25-26). The jailer, seeing what had happened, even fell down before Paul and Silas, saying "...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). Those city officials and religious leaders went to bed thinking, "We did it to them! That's the last we will hear of those vagabond troublemakers. We really shut them up and scared them!" But what a commotion the next day! I can imagine sergeants knocking on the doors of the mayor, city council members, and the religio us leaders, telling them, "Quick! Get down to city hall - we've got a big problem!"

In a state of shock, the officials probably responded, "What? An earthquake? The prison doors opened? Their chains all fell off? They didn't even try to escape? The jailer joined their faith? They're Romans?!?" Now, they were really afraid. It was a crime to beat Roman citizens (Paul and Silas were both Romans). "What do you mean they won't budge from our jail? They demand what? For us to come down and apologize and escort them out of jail? " And they came... and brought them out... begging them to leave the city" (Acts 16:39).

I love it! Here they were, not flaunting their spiritual authority, but merely acting as ambassadors of King Jesus. As they had witnessed Christ's power being mocked, Paul and Silas now wanted that little riverside prayer group to see how God manifests His power to those who stand up against the forces of hell. They went directly to the house of Lydia - and what a meeting that must have been! I would think Paul told that house group, "See! The devil can rage, the powers that be may threaten - but God has all the power! God will stand by you if you take a stand!"

I preach a great deal on prayer and I believe in the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous. But praying alone, praying by two's and three's, or even in a large prayer meeting will not alone shake a city! Elijah was a man of powerful prayer, but it was more than his prayers that shook Ahab's kingdom and enraged Jezebel: He called the false prophets to Mount Carmel and challenged them. Jezebel had slain God's prophets and led Israel into apostasy and the horrible idolatry of Baal worship - and no one had challenged her! Seven thousand believers had not bowed, but they were silent, unknown, and afraid. So along comes Elijah, the troublemaker! Ahab called him "the troubler of Israel!" (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah ended up at the Brook Kishon with a sword in his hand, slaying hundreds of Baal's false prophets "in the name of Jehovah."

Elijah was not a polite gentlemen with the devil and his crowd. While "...they leaped upon the alter... Elijah mocked them [derided them]" (1 Kings 18:26-27).

The church of late has cowered before the powers of darkness due to the lack of holiness, for the Scripture tells us, "...The righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1). Some will say, "But Jesus was meek - He never opened His mouth or resisted when they took Him to be crucified!" But that was because the hour of darkness had come, the hour He was to be given into the hands of the enemy. He was not silent in the temple when driving out the money-changers. He was not silent when calling religious leaders serpents - blind guides - whited sepulchers - a brood of vipers (see Matthew 23). He even told some boldly that Satan was their father!

Many churches today are full of silent, gentlemanly diplomats, not wanting to make waves! Nobody wants trouble! So the devil's kingdom goes unchallenged. We have more than enough smiling, mousy Christians!......


The Neoconservative Threat to American Freedom

By Paul Craig Roberts

The Bush/Cheney White House, which told the American people in 2003 that the Iraqi invasion would be a three to six week affair, now tells us that the US occupation is permanent. Forever.

Attentive Americans of which, alas, there are so few, had already concluded that the occupation was permanent. Permanence is the obvious message from the massive and fortified US embassy under construction in Iraq and from the large permanent military bases that the Bush regime is building in Iraq.

Bush regime propagandists have created a false analogy with “the Korean model’ in their effort to sell the permanent occupation of Iraq as necessary for Iraq´s security. More than one half century after the close of the Korean war, US troops continue to be based in Korea, as they are in Germany more than six decades after the end of World War II.

The rationale for the US troops in S. Korea is to remind N. Korea that an attack on S. Korea is an attack on the US itself. The rationale for US troops in Germany disappeared when Reagan and Gorbachev brought the cold war to an end.

There is, of course, no similarity between Iraq and Korea. There was no insurgency in Korea and no attacks on US troops based in S. Korea once the fighting stopped. The presence of US troops in S. Korea has produced many protest demonstrations by South Koreans, but the US troops in S. Korea have had no exposure to combat since the war ended in 1953.

In contrast, the insurgency in Iraq continues to rage and could expand dramatically if Shi´ites were to join the Sunnis in attacks on US forces. Most American military leaders no longer believe the insurgency can be defeated. Permanent occupation means permanent insurgency. Indeed, an attempt at permanent occupation could possibly unify the Arabs in a joint effort to expel the Americans.

The absurd analogy with Korea is so far-fetched that it raises the question whether the Bush/Cheney regime has entered a new, higher level of delusion. Bush cannot keep troops in Iraq permanently unless he intends to remain permanently in the White House. Even some Republicans in Congress are talking about beginning withdrawals of US troops in September. Republicans believe that if withdrawals do not begin, their party will be wiped out in the 2008 election.

The wild card is the neoconservatives and their long-standing alliance with Israeli Zionists. The neoconservatives still have a death grip on the discredited Bush regime. Jim Lobe ( describes the extensive international organization that the neoconservatives have put into place for the purpose of orchestrating an attack on Iran.

A sane reader might wonder why neoconservatives would want to expand a conflict in which the US has failed. Surely, even delusional “cakewalk’ neoconservatives must realize that attacking Iran would greatly increase the threat to US troops in Iraq and perhaps bring missile attacks on oil facilities and US bases throughout the Middle East. An attack on Iran would further radicalize Muslims and further undermine US puppets in the Middle East. It could bring war to the entire region.

The point is that the neoconservatives do realize this. Their defeat in Iraq and Israel´s defeat in Lebanon has taught the neoconservatives that the US cannot prevail in the Middle East by conventional military means. As I have previously explained, the neoconservatives´ plan is to escape the failure of their Iraq plan by orchestrating a war with Iran in which the US can prevail only by using nuclear weapons. As previously reported, the neoconservatives believe that the use of nuclear weapons against Iran will convince Muslims that they must accept US hegemony.

The neoconservatives have put the elements of their plan in place. They have powerful naval forces on station off Iran´s coast. They have convinced President Bush that only by attacking Iran can he prevail in Iraq.

The neoconservatives have rewritten US war doctrine to permit preemptive US nuclear attack on non-nuclear countries ( They have demonized Iran as the greatest threat since Hitler. Neoconservatives have invented “Islamofascism,’ something that exists only in the neoconservative propaganda used to instill in Americans hatred of Muslims. The neoconservatives have dehumanized Muslims as monsters who must be destroyed at all costs. Recent statements by neoconservative leaders such as Norman Podhoretz read like the ravings of ignorant lunatics. Podhoretz has written Muslims out of the human race. He demands that their culture be deracinated.

Neoconservatives, convinced that a nuclear attack will bring Muslims to heel, are ignoring the likely blowback and unintended consequences of an attack on Iran, just as they ignored the likely consequences of their attack on Iraq. If the neoconservatives are mistaken in their assumption that nuclear weapons will cause Muslims to submit to the US, the consequences will be unmanageable.

The neoconservative Bush regime has got away with more than I thought possible, perhaps because most of Congress and the American public cannot imagine the degree of insanity that lies behind the Bush administration. Most Americans who have turned against the regime think that the administration is incompetent, that it jumped to wrong conclusions about Iraq, and that it mismanaged the war and will not admit its mistakes. As every reason Bush gave for the war has proven to be false, people see no point in continuing the struggle.

If Americans understood the enormity of the deception behind the invasion of Iraq (and Afghanistan) and the pending attack on Iran, Bush and Cheney would be impeached and turned over to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague, and AIPAC would be forced to register as a foreign agent.

Just as Goebbels said, some lies are too big to be disbelieved. It is this disbelief that is so dangerous. The inability of Americans to see through the Big Lie to the secret agenda allows the neoconservatives to escape accountability and to continue with their plot.

The neoconservatives also believe that nuclear attack on Iran will isolate America in the world and, thereby, give the government control over the American people. The denunciations that will be hurled at Americans from every quarter will force the country to wrap itself in the flag and to treat domestic critics as foreign enemies. Not only free speech but also truth itself will disappear along with every civil liberty.

Water Level Rising

Steven Bliss

The water level is rising, for I am powering forth My spirit.  My water of truth is rising and I am increasing the signs of My ways. You must be sure-footed and secure in Me, for as the water level rises, so do other things likewise rise. The enemy swarms in the flow, feeding on the weak and ungrounded. The water moves more swiftly, so be certain of what you do and examine your motives.

You must not hold on to anything that is not Me, for I am on the move. Any facts that do not align with Me or do not contain My love, they are not truth. I am the truth. Many things can get caught up and moved along in the water. Many things can be hidden beneath the surface, but in Me is purity.

I am extending boundaries for those who follow Me. I am clearing away rubble and rubbish, and anything which stands in My way will not remain. The power of My Spirit will be demonstrated. I am raising up and supporting those who know Me. They will rise on the crest of My waters. They will be taken in the flow of My ways.

Bush, Mideast Wars and End-Time Prophecy
    By JP Briggs II, Ph.D., and Thomas D. Williams

    "Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society."
    - Former US President Thomas Jefferson

    President George W. Bush has become dangerously steeped in ideas of Armageddon, the Apocalypse, an imminent war with Satanic forces in the Middle East, and an urgency to construct an American theocracy to fulfill God's end-of-days plan, according to close observers.

    Historians and investigative journalists following the "end-time Christian" movement have grown alarmed at the impact it may be having on Bush's Middle East policies, including the current war in Iraq, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the strife in Lebanon and the administration's repeated attempts to find a cause for war against Iran.

    Many people are aware that Bush is "the most aggressively religious president in American History," as eminent historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. described him, (Schlesinger, "War and the Presidency," 143) but most remain without a clue to what this actually means.

    One piece of evidence is Bush's funneling billions of dollars to "faith-based" organizations. Faith offices making grants are now so widespread inside government agencies that federal watchdog officials have serious difficulties accounting for how much money has actually been spent. (Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming" 121). Marvin Olasky, a devotee of end-time theology, designed Bush's faith-based welfare concept. See also Goldberg, "Kingdom Coming," 110.

    Further evidence is the Bush administration's transformation of the military. Until complaints forced its removal, a religious recruitment video made by a group called the Christian Embassy appeared on the Department of Defense web site. The video included interviews made inside the Pentagon with seven high-ranking military officers, congressmen, other federal officials and even the Christian Ethiopian ambassador to the US about their personal relationship with Christ. Army Lt. General William "Jerry" Boykin made headlines in 2003 when he said he believed America was engaged in a holy war as a "Christian nation" battling Satan. Adversaries can be defeated, he said, "only if we come against them in the name of Jesus." Despite his highly publicized rhetoric, Boykin remains Bush's deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

    Beneath Bush's benign-sounding words, "faith" and "Christian," lies the deeper reality of the authoritarian, doomsday religious beliefs of the ministers and spiritual counselors that surround him, say experts. Officially he has been at pains to show an openness traditionally expected of an American president. Typical is his assertion in a speech at a National Prayer Breakfast found on the White House website: "There's another part of our heritage we are showing in Iraq, and that is the great American tradition of religious tolerance. The Iraqi people are mostly Muslims, and we respect the faith they practice." However, experts point out the particular brand of Christianity that permeates Bush's environment is anything but tolerant. For example, Bush's own personal minister, Franklin Graham, has called Islam "evil and very wicked." He has said, "Let's use the weapons we have, the weapons of mass destruction if need be, and destroy the enemy."

    Respected journalist Bill Moyers says that for the religious figures around Bush "a war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared, but welcomed - an essential conflagration on the road to redemption." Scholars calculate that the group, which religion author Lynne Bundesen has dubbed "end-time Christians," has up to 40 million followers. Though not all may fully subscribe to the doomsday theology, they are inundated with it in books, megachurches, and on Christian broadcasting stations that reach millions upon millions of the faithful and are almost entirely dominated by end-time preachers. The messages come from "dispensationalists," who believe that true believers are close to the time of being "raptured," or drawn up into heaven by God, in the days before the final battles. They also emanate from various stripes of "dominionists" pushing to erect an American theocracy for the end-of-the-world wars against the anti-Christ. Read "Who Are The End-Time Christians?"

    Crosshairs Iran - an Illustration

    A potent example of the influence of end-time Christians in the White House developed in early May 2007 when the president invited dominionist James Dobson and 12 or 13 other "family value" ministers for a special meeting. They were called in to discuss the "disturbing threats Iraq, Iran and international terrorism posed to US, Israel and other democracies around the world. Dobson is best known as the founder of Focus on the Family, an end-time lobby. Dobson opposes homosexual rights and abortion, and advocates the "submission of women." He has backed candidates who call for the execution of abortion providers, and works to establish an American theocracy. Dobson was careful not to quote the president in his radio address. He declined a Truthout interview request about his influential relationship with Bush, including what his radio broadcast said involved many meetings in the past with the president. Dobson told his listeners that Bush "appeared upbeat and determined and convinced that his mission is to protect this great nation from those who have threatened us." He said Bush wanted "to let history be his judge for the way he has dealt with this crisis in the Middle East.... He laid out the challenge before us."

    The meeting with Bush, said Dobson, inspired an entire week of his radio discussions on radical Islam's impact on America. He said the "general tenor and tone" of his session with the president emphasized "how we are living in very perilous times, and the future generations of Americans depends upon how we rise to that challenge today." He continued: "Iran has promised to blow Israel off the face of the earth, and they have made no bones about that.... They fully intend to wage war with us. They will do it when they have the nuclear and biological weapons to do it."

    On the same program, Dobson pointedly discussed the president and the Iranian "threat" with bestselling author and dispensationalist Joel Rosenberg. Rosenberg is an end-time "prophecy expert" who claims he makes frequent visits to the White House to help them "understand what will happen next in the Middle East." He informed Dobson's listeners that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - the latest in a long line of end-time anti-Christ candidates that recently included Saddam Hussein - is "telling people inside Iran that he believes that the end of the world is just two or three years away." Dobson, referring to Ahmadinejad, said: "We didn't take Hitler very seriously either. I just see the parallel. The president, it seems to me, does understand this."

    Divine Mission

    From the beginning of his presidency, Bush's own messianic statements have been downplayed or dismissed by the mainstream press - uncertain of how seriously to take them and shy of offending the religious feeling of their Christian audience.

    In "American Theocracy," historian Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist, explores the question of Bush's professed sense of "divine mission." "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job," the president told a gathering in 2004. Phillips concludes that "the president of the United States may for some years have wandered into what we could describe as a period of personal theocracy, and he may have shaped US policy in the Middle East around a personal and radical interpretation of the Bible." (Phillips, "American Theocracy," XLII)

    Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey told the BBC World Service in 2002 that he believed the president subscribed to end-time prophecies when "the whole world goes through a difficult time during those days of Tribulation."

    Stephen Zunes, Middle East editor of the Foreign Policy in Focus project, observes that "Iraq has become the new Babylon" for Bush. In biblical Revelation, Babylon is the "great whore" representing human sin and corruption that will be destroyed to allow Jerusalem's rise and Jesus's return.

    In an unscripted moment talking to the troops in April 2007 - as Iraq descended into chaos and the Democrats pressed him to pull the troops out - Bush seemed to offer a view of biblical Babylon and prophetic Tribulations. He said of Iraq: "It makes me realize the nature of the enemy that we face, which hardens my resolve to protect the American people. The people who do that are not people - you know, it's not a civil war; it is pure evil. And I believe we have an obligation to protect ourselves from that evil."

    Paul S. Boyer, professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of "When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Culture," said in a lengthy telephone interview: "That sounds very much like Bush, kind of inarticulate, but also the workings of his mind are pretty clear. In his first speech after 9/11, he said he would rid the world of evil, which was an extreme evangelical sense of defining the war on terror."

    Norton Mezvinsky, a distinguished CSU professor of history at Central Connecticut State University, has also extensively researched the Christian end-time movement and is writing a book on the subject. In an interview in his office, he agreed the president's statement fits with his 9/11 pronouncements. "You knew Bush was saying, he just got the message from God; he finally realized why he was president of the United States." Mezvinsky says, "There's no question that he is and has been influenced by the end-time ideas.... So there is a danger. To what extent? We don't know. The extent that we know is pretty bad."

    A spokeswoman for the White House did not respond to nine requests by email and telephone for the president's answers to a series of questions about that influence. But when Phillips's "American Theocracy" came out in March 2006, a questioner at a Bush speech referred to the historian's book and asked whether the president believed in the Apocalypse. The Washington Post reported that Bush stammered and laughed nervously as he responded: "The answer is - I haven't really thought of it that way.... The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow." Phillips writes in the new introduction to his book that Bush then went on with his answer for "four and a half minutes without ever mentioning the Apocalypse, Armageddon, the end-times, or the Book of Revelation." (Phillips, "American Theocracy," XL).

    The Israel Connection

    One of the most influential end-time Christian ministers with entre to the president is John Hagee. Recently, Hagee updated his book, "Jerusalem Countdown," to highlight a coming war with Iran. It promises: "There will soon be a nuclear blast in the Middle East that will transform the road to Armageddon into a racetrack. America and Israel will either take down Iran or Iran will become nuclear and attempt to take down America and Israel." Hagee claims Iran is producing nuclear "suitcase bombs." In 2006, Hagee assembled a large number of end-time Christian groups into an umbrella organization, Christians United for Israel. When CUFI met for the first time in Washington, Israel had just invaded Lebanon. The British Telegraph newspaper reported that Hagee's "claim of political clout is no idle boast. The president sent a message of support praising him for 'spreading the hope of God's Love and the universal gift of freedom.'"

    During the invasion period,, the website for those anticipating ascension into heaven before the final battles, excitement mushroomed. Responders thought the war in Lebanon signaled the start of the Tribulations. "This is so exciting," one commenter offered. "I have been having rapture dreams and I can't believe that this is really it! We are on the edge of eternity!" said another.

    Meanwhile, other websites noted the curious echo of prophecy from a statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that clearly grated on foreign diplomats' nerves: "What we're seeing here are the birth pangs of a new Middle East," she said, even as she refused to call for a cease fire to end the killing and destruction going on in Lebanon. The echo was a core prophetic verse in Matthew: "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs." Was it a coincidence of language from a woman who has described herself as born again and evangelical? Rice denied any such reference.

     Though they give different, sometimes changing "literal" versions of how close the Apocalypse is, end-timers all agree that the establishment of Israeli hegemony over the biblical lands and the rebuilding of the ancient Jewish temple are preconditions for Christ's return. From this belief derives the unwavering support of end-time Christians for Israel. Both dominionists and dispensationalists call themselves "Christian Zionists." End-time Christians (or Christian Zionists) have become Israel's main tourist revenue, shepherding groups to the holy land to see the sites of Armageddon and the Second Coming.

    Mezvinsky has extensive contacts within the Israeli government and various conservative Israeli groups, and he is emphatic on one point: although a succession of Israeli prime ministers has courted the American end-timers (the Christian Zionists) and declared them Israel's "greatest friends," the Israelis don't accept the end-time theology one wit. They are also aware that it is anti-Semitic. (For one thing, they interpret the Bible as claiming that only 144,000 converted Jews will be allowed to survive the Apocalypse.) However, Mezvinsky says, the Israelis also know that the end-time Christian Zionists are a lobby that can deliver US support for Israeli hard-line positions on arms, West Bank settlements, negotiations with the Arabs, and Iran.

    Neocons and End-Timers

    Historians Mezvinsky and Boyer stress that the power of blood-drenched, Satan-versus-God Christian prophecy has merged with another major factor shaping the Bush administration's Mideast policy and the current focus of hostility toward Iran. As president, George W. Bush represents a perfect storm that has blown neoconservative ideology together with the end-time movement. Before 9/11, the neocons envisioned an American global empire supported by newly created democracies friendly to American interests in oil, markets and ideas. But they thought only a Pearl Harbor-type event like 9/11would make mobilizing the country for it possible. The key to this plan was the Middle East. Phillips says that designs on Middle East oil reserves, particularly in Iraq and Iran, were part of the neocon strategy. Notes Boyer, the neocons and end-timers "come at the subject of the Mideast war from different perspectives, but they end up agreeing."

     In Bush's speeches, a careful coding of words and phrases also brings the neocon and end-time perspectives together. The president makes "liberty" and "democracy," for example, synonymous with "divine wishes." Read sidebar, "Hidden Behind Coded Language."

    But Mezvinksy cautions that many neocon strategists probably think the end-time Christian Zionists "are nuts, but, boy, we can utilize them." Indeed, the thinly concealed disdain some neocons have expressed for the prophetic Christians has fed into the media habit of underestimating end-time influence on the assumption that only identifiable political ideas can shape policy.

    Meanwhile, the influence of end-time Christians has burrowed deeply into the American Israel Political Action Committee, AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby. At the last AIPAC meeting with a long list of speakers that included Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "Hagee got the loudest applause of anybody," according to Mezvinsky.

    Mezvinsky reports he is increasingly hearing Israelis say that "we want the United States focusing on Iran. Those are people who would like the United States to attack Iran. They realize that, given the involvement in Iraq, there's not the wherewithal to go after Iran." Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called Iran an "existential threat" to Israel.

    This spring, AIPAC, with the help of its end-time supporters, succeeded in removing language from a military appropriations bill that would have required Bush to get Congressional approval before using military force against Iran. So again, Iran policy provides the example - here for how end-time religion, the politics of Israel and neocon strategies converge. And how end-time thinking entangles George W. Bush.

    At about the same period that Bush was meeting with Dobson and Dobson was touting a war with Iran, Vice President Dick Cheney, the consummate neocon (no sign on his horizon of end-time religious views), stood on the deck of an American aircraft carrier just off Iran's coast. He warned that the United States was prepared to use its naval power to keep Tehran from disrupting oil routes or "gaining nuclear weapons." But, a Cheney spokesperson cited his remarks on the aircraft carrier, as mentioned word-for-word on the White House Internet site, to suggest there is no warning to use naval power against Iran. The Kuwait Times reported that Cheney had visited the region to forge an alliance among the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Egypt "in support of a possible US strike against Iran over its controversial nuclear program, according to Jordanian politicians and academics." Cheney was apparently unsuccessful, the newspaper said.

    When asked about his foreign policy position on Iran, a Cheney spokesperson cited a statement from Cheney: "We hope that we can solve the problem diplomatically. The president has indicated he wants to do everything he can to resolve it diplomatically. That's why we've been working with the EU (European Union) and going through the United Nations with sanctions. But the president has also made it clear that we haven't taken any options off the table." The Cheney aide's references to Cheney statements made no mention about "a strike on Iran."

    For probably different reasons, the fascination of Bush and Cheney for war with Iran has been longstanding. Reports say Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's original war plans for Iraq included moving on to Iran within 90 days of securing Baghdad. The plans were later dropped, but they suited both necon adventure for oil and democratization and the violent Christian prophecy that sees defeat of Babylon as a vital step on the path to the return of Christ. (Dubose and Bernstein, Vice 182) Through it all, nuclear bombs convey the awe of an Apocalypse.

    In the spring of 2006, Pulitzer prize journalist Seymour Hersh reported Bush had ordered his generals to begin planning for an air assault on Iran's nuclear facilities using "bunker-busting" tactical nuclear weapons. When generals tried to remove the nuclear option from the plans, they were "shouted down," Hersh wrote. Said a former senior intelligence official, "Bush and Cheney were dead serious about the nuclear planning." There were also reports the administration was trying to convince the Israelis to do the bombing.

    Then in late February this year, new word came on Bush's Iran war planning. The London Times reported: "Some of America's most senior military commanders are prepared to resign if the White House orders a military strike against Iran, according to highly placed defense and intelligence sources. Tension in the Gulf region has raised fears that an attack on Iran is becoming increasingly likely before President George Bush leaves office. The Sunday Times has learned that up to five (US) generals and admirals are willing to resign rather than approve what they consider would be a reckless attack. 'There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,' a source with close ties to British intelligence said. 'There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.'"

    In May 2007, the Inter Press Service reported that Admiral William J. Fallon, who was slated to become the Central Command chief on March 16, had sent a message to the Defense Department in mid-February, opposing any further US naval buildup in the Persian Gulf. The news article said Fallon squelched an administration effort to send a third carrier strike group to the Gulf. That would have brought the US naval presence up to the same level as during the US air campaign against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, the report said. It continued: "A source who met privately with Fallon around the time of his confirmation hearing and who insists on anonymity quoted Fallon as saying that an attack on Iran 'will not happen on my watch.' Asked how he could be sure, the source says, Fallon replied, 'You know what choices I have. I'm a professional.' Fallon said that he was not alone, according to the source, adding, "There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box."

    Of course, no one knows if the administration will eventually attack Iran. But experts believe that end-time ideas are playing a part in Bush's thinking about a widening war in the region.

    End Game

    Bundesen's sources within the religious community and in the military around the president tell her that end-timers are "crawling all over the White House and Camp David." These are men who purvey what Hedges calls a "theology of despair" that "feeds dark fantasies of revenge and empowerment." Bundesen says she is not being cynical when she observes that end-time ministers like the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Tim LaHaye and James Dobson have used their dark theology to increase their followers, pump up their power and fill their coffers. And it's clear that Bush, in turn, has used end-time Christian leaders and their ideas for political and moral support. So isn't it just about politics?

    No. Experts say that whether anybody even believes the violently apocalyptical scenarios shouldn't obscure the stark fact that Bush's policies have emerged in an atmosphere saturated with these dark ideas. Journalist Ron Suskind reported in 2004 that the administration prided itself on not being "reality-based," and the end-time vision may be one way to understand what that pride is about.


    JP Briggs II, Ph.D. is a Distinguished CSU professor at Western Connecticut State University, specializing in creative process. A former reporter for the Hartford Courant and coordinator of the journalism program at WCSU, he is currently senior editor of the intellectual journal "The Connecticut Review." His books include "Fire in the Crucible" (St. Martins Press); "Fractals, the Patterns of Chaos" (Simon and Schuster), and "Trickster Tales" (Fine Tooth Press), among others. Email:

    Thomas "Dennie" Williams is a former state and federal court reporter, specializing in investigations, for the Hartford Courant. Since the 1970s, he has written extensively about irregularities in the Connecticut Superior Court, Probate Court systems for disciplining both judges and lawyers for misconduct, and failures of the Pentagon and the VA to assist sick veterans returning from war. (He can be reached at

Which Camp Are You In

Stephen Hanson

While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.1 Thess. 5:3

"It is a time of peace and tranquility", that is what many think as they sit idly in their homes. 'But what of the approaching storm', some say who know of the time and hour. "Never mind," they say, "That does not concern us."

There are two camps of people in this hour.  There are those who see the urgency of the hour and they have warned many of the hour in which we are living.  These are those who spend time with Me. These are those who have trimmed their lamps.  These are those whose lamps are filled with oil.  But then there are the others. These are those who are like ostriches.  Their heads are buried in the sand.  They have spent years with their heads oblivious to the realities of the times in which we are living.

I ask you this day, 'Which camp are you in?' Consider rightly before you answer. Consider what type of person you are. Consider your place among the masses."

Stephen Hanson

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